You’ve done your planning, lined up your funding, and worked through the herculean tasks of opening your practice. Staffing may seem like the easy part, but it’s a critical phase that demands you slow down and follow a process for finding the most qualified candidates.
Why staff matters: A positive, cohesive workflow
Even if your practice is opening soon, don’t rush the hiring process. The risks that come with hiring the wrong personnel include frustration and loss of patients. Taking the time to determine and define the roles in your practice can help you narrow your search. For example, a receptionist needs to do more than engage with patients — you need someone who has experience dealing with the public, since they are the critical first (and last) impression a patient has during an office visit.
Understanding compensation in your area is also crucial. Check out sites such as salary.com to get an idea of what you should (or may have to) pay to attract the best talent. And set your staffing budget well ahead of time, using tips such as these.
Positive, efficient, and timely communications among your front office, providers, and back office prevent misunderstandings and frustrations that could lead to patient dissatisfaction and harm your practice.
Market research, ads, and interviews
Once you’ve defined the roles you want to fill, create detailed job profiles that include clear expectations for how each employee will support your practice’s mission. Consider these points:
- Each listing should include job requirements and information about your practice. Include job title, summary of responsibilities, qualifications, work schedule, compensation, and expectations for evaluations.
- Specify actual skill requirements, bearing in mind realistic goals for your practice.
- Describe the personality type that would best fit your practice.
- Describe the work environment, making sure to note what new office procedures and protocols may be necessary to operate safely and legally during a pandemic.
When your job listings are ready, consider where to place them:
- Use websites such as indeed.com, LinkedIn, and industry-specific job boards
- Contact local schools for job boards and newsletters
- Network with providers in your area who can refer candidates
Tons of candidates? Now what?
During interviews, you will discuss qualifications and career goals, but remember to also ensure that the candidate’s personality fits the job and your practice. Front-office staff should be able to make patients feel comfortable. Take your time, interview several candidates, and call their references. Lastly, consider including a probationary period for new hires to make sure they are the right fit.
Once an offer is extended and accepted, it’s time to take further steps to ensure new staff will make a smooth transition into your practice’s culture.
- Hold brief daily team meetings to discuss goals for the day, any challenges you face, and how staff can help one another
- Schedule monthly cross-functional office meetings — including via teleconference if necessary — to discuss ways the practice’s departments can work together more effectively
- Consider these benefits of cross training afternoons, including:
- Improved employee awareness of your practice’s roles
- Schedule flexibility
- Opportunities for advancement
- How knowledge can strengthen customer support
- Motivation, reducing absenteeism, and employee turnover
Choose the Right Technology to Help
Your team is assembled and you’re looking forward to seeing patients. Before you open your doors, make sure you have the right IT solutions to cover both clinical practice and practice management. eClinicalWorks includes on-site or remote training, as necessary and appropriate, during every new implementation, and makes online courses available to your providers, staff, and administrators through eCW University.
To learn more about eClinicalWorks and schedule a conversation about your goals, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-746-1457.